THE DYNASTS ACT v
They sway like sedges in a gale;
They fail, and win, and win, and fail. * Albuera !
They gain the ground there, yard by yard, Their brows and hair and lashes charred, Their blackened teeth set firm and hard.
Their mad assailants rave and reel, And face, as men who scorn to feel, The close-lined, three-edged prongs of steel.
Till faintness follows closing-in,
When, faltering headlong down, they spin
Like leaves. But those pay well who win Albuera.
Out of six thousand souls that sware To hold the mount, or pass elsewhere, But eighteen hundred muster there.
Pale Colonels, Captains, ranksmen lie, Facing the earth or facing sky ;— They strove to live, they stretch to die.
Friends, foemen, mingle; heap and heap.—
Hide their hacked bones, Earth /—deep, deep, deep,
Where harmless worms caress and creep.